“MEMORABLE AND READABLE”
Naturally, the rules of branding are changing all the time. The first major shift is the involvement of SMEs as well as big corporations. Several years ago, branding was still regarded as a big word that applied mostly to large corporations. Now, small businesses can no longer remove themselves from the branding game – hence, it’s time to learn the rules.
In this article, we’ll review 10 examples of absolutely brilliant company logos as well as the branding strategy behind them. To save time and money, the owners of small and medium companies should profit from the insights that have been collected by bigger players.
What’s a logo?
Branding starts with your business’s name and logo. We won’t talk much about naming in this article – it’s a huge topic on its own – but we’ll talk a lot about the rules of creating a memorable logo and forming a distinctive design vision for your brand.
A logo is an icon that identifies the company’s visual identity. The goal of any business is to make sure that a logo brings positive associations about the business, sticks in customers’ memory and displays well the business’s mission and purpose.
Let’s see how the right choice of font contributed to the success of some iconic logos – and the proof of their success is that all of these are familiar to you, without a doubt.
There is hardly as much mystery about any other logos as much as it’s wrapped around the Disney logo. Does it belong to the company and what are the origins? Well, buckle up for the ride – it’s time for the case.
Disney is a custom wordmark which is said to take its origins from Walt Disney’s signature. Some experts display this belief, but it’s a nice takeaway for business owners – if you are out of ideas for a custom font, you can simply stylize your own signature. This provides your company with a great branding story, and it’s a fairly easy way to save on creating a font from absolute scratch.
The success in Disney’s logo comes from how accurately it portrays the company’s purpose. The first glance is enough to feel the mysterious, fairy-tale vibe from the design. Even if you’d ask someone who has no idea about Disney – that would be pretty hard to do – they would still land a close guess. Now its identity is massively used by users in their personal project – you can download free Disney fonts anytime.
Even though Starbucks is mostly famous for its iconic image of a siren, the font has played a major part in the company’s powerful strategy. The brand has chosen a bold font with tall letters and a black style. It’s a practical solution – the name of the brand is seen from afar, be it in the coffee shop or on a cup.
The key takeaway: combining your brand’s image logo with the bold text provides you more awareness. You need to consider the mediums for the font and make sure that the logo is visible. If it will be seen from distance a lot of the time, choose wide and black lettering instead of thin formatting.
Now Starbucks decided to remove the font from its logo, arguing this choice by high customer awareness. The siren will be enough to recognize the brand’s name – this, of course, is the result of efficient branding.
The early McDonald’s architecture – the habit of building the letter M on high poles inspired the simple design since the logo has to be easily identified by the customer. Now, the company is drifting away from this tradition but the simplicity stayed.
With its strategy, McDonald’s has given a great example: to create a successful logo, imagine that you have to put on a high pole what’s going to be seen from above. This approach is applicable to all font design in general – whatever your artistic vision is, the goal is already to remain memorable and readable.
This is one of our favorite text-only logo examples. The company achieves the effect of memorability by combining efficient color play with smart usage of space. It’s curious how designers decided to not put a space between ‘d’ and ‘E’. The letters are always holding on to each other so that the company can keep using big-size letters even on the small space.
Similarly to Starbucks, FedEx opted in favor of bold styling, which proves again that visibility is the logo’s main purpose. So, whenever in doubt between bold and medium options, go for the overkill and make it black.
This is a perfect, almost textbook example of a powerful combination of the icon and font in a single creative vision. As you can see, the graphic element features curved wavy lines of three colors. The same approach was selected for the letter ‘e’ – the line is curved in the shape, similar to the icon.
Because the icon logo is in a perfectly round shape, designers made sure that the font complements these stylistics. Letters are just as sound – the letter ‘p’ almost repeats the shape of the graphics logo.
Coca-Cola is the pioneer of developing a creative font for its logo, and this approach has proven to be successful for many, many years. The reason for this success is the logo’s memorability – you don’t even have to read the text as long as you recognize the general shape.
Despite that, the brand still managed to find a balance between developing an elaborate script and readability. The text is fairly easy to identify, and the uneven spacing of two words makes it easier for the eye to catch the meaning. The line on the first ‘C’ letter seems to be supporting the entire text, and therefore, isn’t at all distracting.
Although the brand is mainly known for its graphical elements, the font is also worth looking at. Like many premium brands, this fashion house opted in favor of long letters – an interesting combination of bold and slender stylistics.
If you work in the premium segment, you can choose the same strategy. Premium companies tend to pick longer letters for their logos, adding a touch of class to the font. Still, long doesn’t mean thin – as Chanel demonstrates perfectly – you can pick tall but black letters, still staying in the realm of readability.
Netflix started its font design by analyzing the purpose of the company. It’s a great tip for all business owners out there – you need to understand the general purpose of your business first.
The primary purpose of the logo is to reflect your company’s identity. Netflix realized that their main goal is to develop the cinematic experience to users’ homes. This is reflected in letters’ shape, common in old movies.
The font fits a white and colored background, but the company regiments the usage of 3:1 contrast ratio. You can do the same thing and determine the color background with the text that will be used.
Google changed their classic font into the sans serif type font, adding a more modern feel to the logo. The major reason for this change was the company’s restructuring – the logo was introduced when Google had a new parent company.
Logo modernization is an important lesson that a lot of companies need to remember. Even if your logo responded to market trends several years ago, it might not be the case anymore. It makes sense to re-evaluate design trends and update your brand’s visual identity.
Another example of a great redesign is the BBC. The company had the same old logo for ages, but the digitalization forced the company to think about creating a united style for its TV and digital mediums.
So, the company made a choice to create two similar sets of logos. They are applied to different backgrounds – red, yellow, black, white, and are used on TV, printed ads, and the company’s website.
The bottom line
The logo is one of the most important branding forms because it’s one of the most recognizable aspects of brand identity. There are many ways of creating the logo, but the most popular and easy one these days is by creating a custom font or typeface combinations. In several characters, the business has to display their company’s intentions and identity.